In choosing the three co-Grand Marshals for the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade, Pres. Brad Ratliff had a brilliant idea, but it came rather later in the game that usual. In conjunction—or perhaps collusion—with the City of Los Angeles’ float entry, “Follow the Sun,” he chose three Olympians who are also coincidently part of the LA 2024 Olympic bid effort. The float was announced earlier in the year, but the Grand Marshals weren’t announced until November, 2016. They only had a few weeks’ notice before being publicly presented.
Be sure to check out the photo gallery at the end for more about the float and the Grand Marshals.
The Olympians, Janet Evans, Greg Louganis, and Allyson Felix, followed the 119th consecutive Los Angeles float in the Rose Parade on Jan. 2, 2017. The float was presented by Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board and LA 2024, and featured the beloved symbol of the Los Angeles Olympics, whether 1932, 1984, or 2024—the iconic peristyle and flaming torch of the Memorial Coliseum. The city is the US Candidate City for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Evans serves as the Vice Chairperson and Chair of the LA 2024 Bid Committee’s Athletes’ Commission and Director of Athlete Continue reading “Los Angeles and Grand Marshals make a rosy bid for the 2024 Olympics at the Rose Parade (photos)”→
We were tipped off that the three Grand Marshals and their families would be at the car decorating tent on Saturday to sit in the classic automobiles that will drive them down Colorado Blvd. in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade. The parade is held on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 because of the “Never on Sunday” rule. Olympians Janet Evans, Greg Louganis, and Allison Felix climbed into the cars with huge grins on their faces. Be sure to take a look at the photos below.
FTD floral designer J. Keith White, AIFD CFD, has decorated the vehicles used in the parade for a dozen years. He chooses colors and floral materials that complement the color and design of the cars. Or buses, trolleys, and mule team wagons that he is called on to beautify for the Rose Parade. None of the three Grand Marshal cars—a 1915 Pierce Arrow for Evans, a 1937 Bentley for Louganis, and a 1911 Pope-Hartford for Felix—has been in the Rose Parade before. All will be driven by their owners, and White made sure that each one has the Olympic rings on the front.
The 128th Rose Parade takes place on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 in Pasadena, Calif. and features spectacular marching bands, costumed equestrians, and of course, flower-covered floats. There are nearly 100 entries for the 2017 parade.
The Order of March is a bit unusual. The Tournament of Roses President, Brad Ratliff, appears rather late in the parade at No. 65, just ahead of his hometown float, La Cañada Flintridge. Like 2014 Pres. Scott Jenkins, he’ll be in a wagon pulled by equines. Speaking of equines, it is rare for two equestrian units to be placed back-to-back in the Rose Parade, but the Union Rescue Mission and Philippine Scouts are this year at Nos. 77 and 78. The LAUSD All District High School Honor Band is paired with the National Hockey League float, probably hoping for another Stanley Cup win by the LA Kings.
Entries No. 33 through 48 all have a strong Tournament of Roses connection and lots of star power. It’s the largest block of Tournament-related entries we’ve seen. The City of Los Angeles float, which is the longest-standing Rose Parade float entry, drums up interest in hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics. It’s followed by the three Grand Marshals, all award-winning Olympians, and includes the 2018 Queen and Court, 2017 Rose Bowl Game Hall of Fame inductees, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Rose Parade founders Valley Hunt Club, and retiring Tournament of Roses Executive Director/CEO William B. Flinn. Flinn, the conductor of The Salvation Army’s Pasadena Tabernacle Band, is followed by The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band, one of three bands guaranteed a Rose Parade slot. Floats are presenting sponsors Miracle-Gro (post-parade Showcase of Floats) and Northwestern Mutual (Rose Bowl Game), and the two Rose Bowl Game teams. The PCC Herald Trumpets and Tournament of Roses Honor Band, and the two Rose Bowl university bands provide music.
The three Grand Marshals for the 2017 Rose Parade, Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, and Allyson Felix are happy to be on stage with Sam the Olympic Eagle from the 1984 Los Angeles games. The announcement took place on Nov. 3, 2016. All photos copyright 2016 Laura Berthold Monteros
by Laura Berthold Monteros
This morning at Tournament House in Pasadena, the biggest secret in town was revealed. Pres. Brad Ratliff announced that the Grand Marshals of the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade are Allyson Felix, Greg Louganis, and Janet Evans. All three are native Southern Californians who are world famous, multiple Olympic medal winners in multiple years, and world record holders. And all three serve on the LA 2024 Athletes’ Advisory Commission, ensuring that Olympians and Paralympians are involved in all aspects of the plans to bring the Olympic Games to Los Angeles in 2024.
Be sure to check out the album at the end of this article!
Ratliff, who chose the theme “Echoes of Success” for 2017, opened the ceremony by asking, “How cool is it that we’re at the house of the guy who built the World Series champion team?” Tournament House belonged to the William Wrigley family before it was donated to the City of Pasadena for use as the Tournament of Roses headquarters. He continued by rattling off numbers that can be considered indicators of success: 128 Rose Parades, 103 Rose Bowl Games, 935 volunteers and 37 staff members, 120 Grand Marshals, two of whom were puppets.
“All are successful in their own stories, even if their story is narrated by Kermit The Frog or Charlie McCarthy,” Ratliff said. He noted that it’s sometimes difficult to find a Grand Marshal who fits the theme of the year, “but not this year.” Indeed, he found three who are personally successful and whose success echoes in the many people they have inspired. Each swept through the golden curtains draping the front entryway and gave a short speech, and each mentioned that they grew up with the Rose Parade as a family tradition. Rose Queen Victoria Castellanos handed each a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses. Continue reading “Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, Allyson Felix are 2017 Rose Parade Grand Marshals”→
With Vin Scully winding down his 67-year career with the Dodgers as the premier play-by-play announcer in baseball, it’s time to reprise the articles we wrote about his long-awaited appearance as Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade. We’ve worked them together into one tribute to the Master of the Mic.
“Hi, everybody, and a pleasant Thursday to you!” Vin Scully said when he took the lectern at Tournament House on Sept. 5, 2013. As his signature opening line, he laughed, “I just had to say that.” The Dodger play-by-play announcer was the choice of Tournament of Roses President R. Scott Jenkins to be the 2014 Rose Parade Grand Marshal.
“The most wonderful privilege about being president of the Tournament of Roses is two things,” R. Scott Jenkins said at the announcement that LA Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully would be the 2014 Grand Marshal on Thursday. Number one is he gets to choose the theme, “Dreams Come True,” and number two is that he gets to choose the Grand Marshal.
After turning down the gig multiple times, Scully was finally convinced to bear the honors. We caught Jenkins as he was leaving the stage and asked how he scored Scully. The TOR president came close to your reporter and whispered, “Sandy. One word.” Sandy is Scully’s wife.